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Shanghai Charity Raises 4 Mln Yuan in 24-hour

The Shanghai Charity Foundation raised 4.35 million yuan (US$538,300) in donations during a 24-hour campaign on Sunday.


The one-day campaign was part of the foundation's "The Deepest Love under the Blue Sky" program, which has raised more than 100 million yuan since it began last November.


During the last two months, the city held various events and activities to attract donations, including some new events such as a charity ball, wine tasting contest, and an auction of race horses.


"We can't always put needy families and sad faces on television to gain compassion," said the foundation's executive Deputy Secretary General Ma Zhongqi. "We have to make charity as entertaining as possible, to get people involved with charities in their daily lives."


Last year the foundation received 326 million yuan in donations, a one-year record for the 12-year-old organization.


Since its founding 12 years ago, the foundation has taken in 1.4 billion yuan in donations, which it used to help more than 600,000 needy families in the city. The money was also used to set up more than 70 charity programs.


Ma said innovative thinking is to credit for the foundation's successful 24-hour program on Sunday.


The foundation took in 650,000 yuan in street donations, while people who gave money over the phone or by text messages pledged 220,000 yuan. The telecom charges for those calls and text messages will also be donated to the foundation.


Celebrities around the city also raised 180,000 yuan for the foundation on Sunday, while an auction took in a further 3.3 million yuan.


The foundation will hold a three-hour show at the Shanghai Jade Buddha Temple this Saturday night, which is Lunar New Year's Eve.


(Shanghai Daily January 25, 2006)

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